Electric motor

Electric motor

Overview

An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy
Mechanical energy
In physics, mechanical energy is the sum of potential energy and kinetic energy present in the components of a mechanical system. It is the energy associated with the motion and position of an object. The law of conservation of energy states that in an isolated system that is only subject to...

.

Most electric motor
Motor
Motor is a device that creates motion. It usually refers to an engine of some kind. It may also specifically refer to:*Electric motor, a machine that converts electricity into a mechanical motion...

s operate through the interaction of magnetic fields and current-carrying conductors
Electrical conductor
In physics and electrical engineering, a conductor is a material which contains movable electric charges. In metallic conductors such as copper or aluminum, the movable charged particles are electrons...

 to generate force. The reverse process, producing electrical energy from mechanical energy, is done by generator
Electrical generator
In electricity generation, an electric generator is a device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. A generator forces electric charge to flow through an external electrical circuit. It is analogous to a water pump, which causes water to flow...

s such as an alternator
Alternator
An alternator is an electromechanical device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy in the form of alternating current.Most alternators use a rotating magnetic field but linear alternators are occasionally used...

 or a dynamo
Dynamo
- Engineering :* Dynamo, a magnetic device originally used as an electric generator* Dynamo theory, a theory relating to magnetic fields of celestial bodies* Solar dynamo, the physical process that generates the Sun's magnetic field- Software :...

; some electric motors can also be used as generators, for example, a traction motor
Traction motor
Traction motor refers to an electric motor providing the primary rotational torque of a machine, usually for conversion into linear motion ....

 on a vehicle may perform both tasks.
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Encyclopedia

An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy
Mechanical energy
In physics, mechanical energy is the sum of potential energy and kinetic energy present in the components of a mechanical system. It is the energy associated with the motion and position of an object. The law of conservation of energy states that in an isolated system that is only subject to...

.

Most electric motor
Motor
Motor is a device that creates motion. It usually refers to an engine of some kind. It may also specifically refer to:*Electric motor, a machine that converts electricity into a mechanical motion...

s operate through the interaction of magnetic fields and current-carrying conductors
Electrical conductor
In physics and electrical engineering, a conductor is a material which contains movable electric charges. In metallic conductors such as copper or aluminum, the movable charged particles are electrons...

 to generate force. The reverse process, producing electrical energy from mechanical energy, is done by generator
Electrical generator
In electricity generation, an electric generator is a device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. A generator forces electric charge to flow through an external electrical circuit. It is analogous to a water pump, which causes water to flow...

s such as an alternator
Alternator
An alternator is an electromechanical device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy in the form of alternating current.Most alternators use a rotating magnetic field but linear alternators are occasionally used...

 or a dynamo
Dynamo
- Engineering :* Dynamo, a magnetic device originally used as an electric generator* Dynamo theory, a theory relating to magnetic fields of celestial bodies* Solar dynamo, the physical process that generates the Sun's magnetic field- Software :...

; some electric motors can also be used as generators, for example, a traction motor
Traction motor
Traction motor refers to an electric motor providing the primary rotational torque of a machine, usually for conversion into linear motion ....

 on a vehicle may perform both tasks. Electric motors and generators are commonly referred to as electric machine
Electric machine
The academic study of electric machines is the universal study of electric motors and electric generators. By the classic definition, electric machine is synonymous with electric motor or electric generator, all of which are electro-mechanical energy converters: converting electricity to mechanical...

s.

Electric motors are found in applications as diverse as industrial fans, blowers and pumps, machine tools, household appliances, power tools, and disk drives. They may be powered by direct current
Direct current
Direct current is the unidirectional flow of electric charge. Direct current is produced by such sources as batteries, thermocouples, solar cells, and commutator-type electric machines of the dynamo type. Direct current may flow in a conductor such as a wire, but can also flow through...

, e.g., a battery powered portable device or motor vehicle, or by alternating current
Alternating current
In alternating current the movement of electric charge periodically reverses direction. In direct current , the flow of electric charge is only in one direction....

 from a central electrical distribution grid or inverter
Inverter (electrical)
An inverter is an electrical device that converts direct current to alternating current ; the converted AC can be at any required voltage and frequency with the use of appropriate transformers, switching, and control circuits....

. The smallest motors may be found in electric wristwatches
Electric watch
Electric watch, which commonly means any watch that is powered by electricity, has become a generic term for the first generation of electrically powered watches which appeared starting in 1957, before the invention of quartz watches in the 1970s...

. Medium-size motors of highly standardized dimensions and characteristics provide convenient mechanical power for industrial uses. The very largest electric motors are used for propulsion of ships, pipeline compressors, and water pumps
Pumped-storage hydroelectricity
Pumped-storage hydroelectricity is a type of hydroelectric power generation used by some power plants for load balancing. The method stores energy in the form of water, pumped from a lower elevation reservoir to a higher elevation. Low-cost off-peak electric power is used to run the pumps...

 with ratings in the millions of watts. Electric motors may be classified by the source of electric power, by their internal construction, by their application, or by the type of motion they give.

The physical principle of production of mechanical force by the interactions of an electric current and a magnetic field was known as early as 1821. Electric motors of increasing efficiency were constructed throughout the 19th century, but commercial exploitation of electric motors on a large scale required efficient electrical generators and electrical distribution networks
Electricity distribution
File:Electricity grid simple- North America.svg|thumb|380px|right|Simplified diagram of AC electricity distribution from generation stations to consumers...

.

Some devices convert electricity into motion but do not generate usable mechanical power as a primary objective and so are not generally referred to as electric motors. For example, magnetic solenoid
Solenoid
A solenoid is a coil wound into a tightly packed helix. In physics, the term solenoid refers to a long, thin loop of wire, often wrapped around a metallic core, which produces a magnetic field when an electric current is passed through it. Solenoids are important because they can create...

s and loudspeaker
Loudspeaker
A loudspeaker is an electroacoustic transducer that produces sound in response to an electrical audio signal input. Non-electrical loudspeakers were developed as accessories to telephone systems, but electronic amplification by vacuum tube made loudspeakers more generally useful...

s are usually described as actuator
Actuator
An actuator is a type of motor for moving or controlling a mechanism or system. It is operated by a source of energy, usually in the form of an electric current, hydraulic fluid pressure or pneumatic pressure, and converts that energy into some kind of motion. An actuator is the mechanism by which...

s and transducer
Transducer
A transducer is a device that converts one type of energy to another. Energy types include electrical, mechanical, electromagnetic , chemical, acoustic or thermal energy. While the term transducer commonly implies the use of a sensor/detector, any device which converts energy can be considered a...

s, respectively, instead of motors. Some electric motors are used to produce torque or force.

History and development


The conversion of electrical energy into mechanical energy by electromagnetic
Electromagnetism
Electromagnetism is one of the four fundamental interactions in nature. The other three are the strong interaction, the weak interaction and gravitation...

 means was demonstrated by the British scientist Michael Faraday
Michael Faraday
Michael Faraday, FRS was an English chemist and physicist who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry....

 in 1821. A free-hanging wire was dipped into a pool of mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

, on which a permanent magnet was placed. When a current was passed through the wire, the wire rotated around the magnet, showing that the current gave rise to a close circular magnetic field around the wire. This motor is often demonstrated in school physics classes, but brine
Brine
Brine is water, saturated or nearly saturated with salt .Brine is used to preserve vegetables, fruit, fish, and meat, in a process known as brining . Brine is also commonly used to age Halloumi and Feta cheeses, or for pickling foodstuffs, as a means of preserving them...

 (salt water) is sometimes used in place of the toxic mercury. This is the simplest form of a class of devices called homopolar motor
Homopolar motor
A homopolar motor is an electric motor that works without the need for a commutator, by rotating along a fixed axis that is parallel to the external magnetic field produced by a permanent magnet. The name homopolar indicates that the electrical polarity of the motor does not change...

s. A later refinement is the Barlow's wheel
Barlow's Wheel
thumb|An 1842 diagram of Barlow's wheelBarlow's wheel was an early demonstration of a homopolar motor, designed and built by English mathematician and physicist, Peter Barlow in 1822. An electric current passes through the hub of the wheel to a mercury contact on the rim; this is contained in a...

. These were demonstration devices only, unsuited to practical applications due to their primitive construction.
In 1827, Hungarian
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 physicist
Physicist
A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

 Ányos Jedlik
Ányos Jedlik
Stephen Ányos Jedlik was a Hungarian inventor, engineer, physicist, and Benedictine priest. He was also member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and author of several books. He is considered by Hungarians and Slovaks to be the unsung father of the dynamo and electric motor.-Career:He was born...

 started experimenting with devices he called "electromagnetic self-rotors". Although they were used only for instructional purposes, in 1828 Jedlik demonstrated the first device to contain the three main components of practical direct current
Direct current
Direct current is the unidirectional flow of electric charge. Direct current is produced by such sources as batteries, thermocouples, solar cells, and commutator-type electric machines of the dynamo type. Direct current may flow in a conductor such as a wire, but can also flow through...

 motors: the stator
Stator
The stator is the stationary part of a rotor system, found in an electric generator, electric motor and biological rotors.Depending on the configuration of a spinning electromotive device the stator may act as the field magnet, interacting with the armature to create motion, or it may act as the...

, rotor
Armature (electrical engineering)
In electrical engineering, an armature generally refers to one of the two principal electrical components of an electromechanical machine–generally in a motor or generator, but it may also mean the pole piece of a permanent magnet or electromagnet, or the moving iron part of a solenoid or relay....

 and commutator
Commutator (electric)
A commutator is a rotary electrical switch in certain types of electric motors or electrical generators that periodically reverses the current direction between the rotor and the external circuit. In a motor, it applies power to the best location on the rotor, and in a generator, picks off power...

. The device employed no permanent magnets, as the magnetic fields of both the stationary and revolving components were produced solely by the currents flowing through their windings.

The first electric motors


The first commutator
Commutator (electric)
A commutator is a rotary electrical switch in certain types of electric motors or electrical generators that periodically reverses the current direction between the rotor and the external circuit. In a motor, it applies power to the best location on the rotor, and in a generator, picks off power...

-type direct current electric motor capable of turning machinery was invented by the British scientist William Sturgeon
William Sturgeon
William Sturgeon was an English physicist and inventor who made the first electromagnets, and invented the first practical English electric motor.-Early Life :...

 in 1832. Following Sturgeon's work, a commutator-type direct-current electric motor made with the intention of commercial use was built by Americans Emily
Emily Davenport
Emily Goss Davenport was an inventor from Vermont, United States. Emily, with her husband Thomas Davenport, invented an electric motor and electric locomotive circa 1834....

 and Thomas Davenport and patented in 1837. Their motors ran at up to 600 revolutions per minute, and powered machine tools and a printing press. Due to the high cost of the zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

 electrodes required by primary battery power
Battery (electricity)
An electrical battery is one or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Since the invention of the first battery in 1800 by Alessandro Volta and especially since the technically improved Daniell cell in 1836, batteries have become a common power...

, the motors were commercially unsuccessful and the Davenports went bankrupt. Several inventors followed Sturgeon in the development of DC motors but all encountered the same cost issues with primary battery power. No electricity distribution had been developed at the time. Like Sturgeon's motor, there was no practical commercial market for these motors.

In 1855 Jedlik built a device using similar principles to those used in his electromagnetic self-rotors that was capable of useful work. He built a model electric motor-propelled vehicle
Electric vehicle
An electric vehicle , also referred to as an electric drive vehicle, uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion...

 that same year.

The modern DC motor was invented by accident in 1873, when Zénobe Gramme
Zénobe Gramme
Zénobe Théophile Gramme was a Belgian electrical engineer. He invented the Gramme machine, a type of direct current dynamo capable of generating smoother and much higher voltages than the dynamos known to that point.In 1873 he and Hippolyte Fontaine accidentally discovered that the device was...

 connected the dynamo
Electrical generator
In electricity generation, an electric generator is a device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. A generator forces electric charge to flow through an external electrical circuit. It is analogous to a water pump, which causes water to flow...

 he had invented to a second similar unit, driving it as a motor. The Gramme machine
Gramme machine
A Gramme machine, Gramme ring, Gramme magneto, or Gramme dynamo is an electrical generator which produces direct current, named for its Belgian inventor, Zénobe Gramme, and was built as either a dynamo or a magneto. It was the first generator to produce power on a commercial scale for industry...

 was the first electric motor that was successful in the industry.

In 1886 Frank Julian Sprague invented the first practical DC motor, a non-sparking motor capable of constant speed under variable loads. Other Sprague electric inventions about this time greatly improved grid electric distribution (prior work done while employed by Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial...

), allowed power from electric motors to be returned to the electric grid, provided for electric distribution to trolleys via overhead wires and the trolley pole, and provided controls systems for electric operations. This allowed Sprague to use electric motors to invent the first electric trolley system in 1887–88 in Richmond VA, the electric elevator and control system in 1892, and the electric subway with independently powered centrally controlled cars, which was first installed in 1892 in Chicago by the South Side Elevated Railway where it became popularly known as the "L". Sprague's motor and related inventions led to an explosion of interest and use in electric motors for industry, while almost simultaneously another great inventor was developing its primary competitor, which would become much more widespread.

In 1888 Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor, mechanical engineer, and electrical engineer...

 invented the first practicable AC motor
AC motor
An AC motor is an electric motor driven by an alternating current.It commonly consists of two basic parts, an outside stationary stator having coils supplied with alternating current to produce a rotating magnetic field, and an inside rotor attached to the output shaft that is given a torque by the...

 and with it the polyphase power transmission system. Tesla continued his work on the AC motor in the years to follow at the Westinghouse company.

The development of electric motors of acceptable efficiency was delayed for several decades by failure to recognize the extreme importance of a relatively small air gap between rotor and stator. Efficient designs have a comparatively small air gap.

The St. Louis motor, long used in classrooms to illustrate motor principles, is extremely inefficient for the same reason, as well as appearing nothing like a modern motor. Photo of a traditional form of the St. Louis motor: http://www.physics.umd.edu/lecdem/services/demos/demosk4/k4-21.gif

Application of electric motors revolutionized industry. Industrial processes were no longer limited by power transmission using line shafts, belts, compressed air or hydraulic pressure. Instead every machine could be equipped with its own electric motor, providing easy control at the point of use, and improving power transmission efficiency. Electric motors applied in agriculture eliminated human and animal muscle power from such tasks as handling grain or pumping water. Household uses of electric motors reduced heavy labor in the home and made higher standards of convenience, comfort and safety possible. Today, electric motors consume more than half of all electric energy produced.

Terminology


In an electric motor the moving part is called the rotor
Rotor (electric)
The rotor is the non-stationary part of a rotary electric motor, electric generator or alternator, which rotates because the wires and magnetic field of the motor are arranged so that a torque is developed about the rotor's axis. In some designs, the rotor can act to serve as the motor's armature,...

and the stationary part is called the stator
Stator
The stator is the stationary part of a rotor system, found in an electric generator, electric motor and biological rotors.Depending on the configuration of a spinning electromotive device the stator may act as the field magnet, interacting with the armature to create motion, or it may act as the...

. Magnetic fields are produced on poles
Magnetic pole
Magnetic pole may refer to:* One of the two ends of a magnet* The magnetic poles of astronomical bodies, a special case of magnets, two special cases of which are the Geomagnetic poles:...

, and these can be salient poles where they are driven by windings of electrical wire. A shaded-pole motor
Shaded-pole motor
A shaded-pole motor is a type of AC single-phase induction motor. It is basically a small squirrel cage motor in which the auxiliary winding is composed of a copper ring surrounding a portion of each pole. This auxiliary winding is called a shading coil. Currents in this coil delay the phase of ...

 has a winding around part of the pole that delays the phase of the magnetic field for that pole.

A commutator
Commutator (electric)
A commutator is a rotary electrical switch in certain types of electric motors or electrical generators that periodically reverses the current direction between the rotor and the external circuit. In a motor, it applies power to the best location on the rotor, and in a generator, picks off power...

 switches the current flow to the rotor windings depending on the rotor angle.

A DC motor is powered by direct current
Direct current
Direct current is the unidirectional flow of electric charge. Direct current is produced by such sources as batteries, thermocouples, solar cells, and commutator-type electric machines of the dynamo type. Direct current may flow in a conductor such as a wire, but can also flow through...

, although there is almost always an internal mechanism (such as a commutator) converting DC to AC for part of the motor. An AC motor is supplied with alternating current
Alternating current
In alternating current the movement of electric charge periodically reverses direction. In direct current , the flow of electric charge is only in one direction....

, often avoiding the need for a commutator. A synchronous motor
Synchronous motor
A synchronous electric motor is an AC motor distinguished by a rotor spinning with coils passing magnets at the same rate as the power supply frequency and resulting rotating magnetic field which drives it....

is an AC motor that runs at a speed fixed to a fraction of the power supply frequency, and an asynchronous motor is an AC motor, usually an induction motor
Induction motor
An induction or asynchronous motor is a type of AC motor where power is supplied to the rotor by means of electromagnetic induction. These motors are widely used in industrial drives, particularly polyphase induction motors, because they are robust and have no brushes...

, whose speed slows with increasing torque to slightly less than synchronous speed. Universal motors can run on either AC or DC, though the maximum frequency of the AC supply may be limited.

Operating principle


At least 3 different operating principles are used to make electric motors: magnetism, electrostatics, piezoelectric. By far the most common is magnetic.

Magnetic


Nearly all electric motors are based around magnetism
Magnetism
Magnetism is a property of materials that respond at an atomic or subatomic level to an applied magnetic field. Ferromagnetism is the strongest and most familiar type of magnetism. It is responsible for the behavior of permanent magnets, which produce their own persistent magnetic fields, as well...

. In these motors, magnetic fields are formed in both the rotor and the stator. The product between these two fields give rise to a force, and thus a torque on the motor shaft. One, or both, of these fields must be made to change with the rotation of the motor. This is done by switching the poles on and off at the right time, or varying the strength of the pole.

Categorization


The main types are DC motors and AC motors, although the ongoing trend toward electronic control somewhat softens the distinction, as modern drivers have moved the commutator out of the motor shell for some types of DC motors.

Considering all rotating (or linear) electric motors require synchronism between a moving magnetic field and a moving current sheet for average torque production, there is a clear distinction between an asynchronous motor and synchronous
Synchronous motor
A synchronous electric motor is an AC motor distinguished by a rotor spinning with coils passing magnets at the same rate as the power supply frequency and resulting rotating magnetic field which drives it....

 types. An asynchronous motor requires slip - relative movement between the magnetic field (generated by the stator) and a winding set (the rotor) to induce current in the rotor by mutual inductance. The most ubiquitous example of asynchronous motors is the common AC induction motor
Induction motor
An induction or asynchronous motor is a type of AC motor where power is supplied to the rotor by means of electromagnetic induction. These motors are widely used in industrial drives, particularly polyphase induction motors, because they are robust and have no brushes...

 which must slip to generate torque.

In the synchronous types, induction (or slip) is not a requisite for magnetic field or current production (e.g. permanent magnet motors, synchronous brush-less wound-rotor doubly fed electric machine).

Rated output power is also used to categorize motors. Those of less than 746 watts, for example, are often referred to as fractional horsepower motors (FHP) in reference to the old imperial measurement.
Commutation
Commutator (electric)
A commutator is a rotary electrical switch in certain types of electric motors or electrical generators that periodically reverses the current direction between the rotor and the external circuit. In a motor, it applies power to the best location on the rotor, and in a generator, picks off power...

No commutation Electromechanical Electronic
stator coils driven by line voltage motor has a commutator to switch power to rotor coils Switches power to stator coils, rotor position by sensing, either by discrete sensors, or feedback from coils, or open loop.
Electro-mechanical commutator
Commutator (electric)
A commutator is a rotary electrical switch in certain types of electric motors or electrical generators that periodically reverses the current direction between the rotor and the external circuit. In a motor, it applies power to the best location on the rotor, and in a generator, picks off power...

 
Electronic switch
Electronic switch
In electronics, an electronic switch is an electronic component or device that can switch an electrical circuit, interrupting the current or diverting it from one conductor to another....

es
Drive
Motor controller
A motor controller is a device or group of devices that serves to govern in some predetermined manner the performance of an electric motor. A motor controller might include a manual or automatic means for starting and stopping the motor, selecting forward or reverse rotation, selecting and...

AC
Alternating current
In alternating current the movement of electric charge periodically reverses direction. In direct current , the flow of electric charge is only in one direction....

 
DC
Direct current
Direct current is the unidirectional flow of electric charge. Direct current is produced by such sources as batteries, thermocouples, solar cells, and commutator-type electric machines of the dynamo type. Direct current may flow in a conductor such as a wire, but can also flow through...

 (1) 
DC
Direct current
Direct current is the unidirectional flow of electric charge. Direct current is produced by such sources as batteries, thermocouples, solar cells, and commutator-type electric machines of the dynamo type. Direct current may flow in a conductor such as a wire, but can also flow through...

Rotor
Rotor (electric)
The rotor is the non-stationary part of a rotary electric motor, electric generator or alternator, which rotates because the wires and magnetic field of the motor are arranged so that a torque is developed about the rotor's axis. In some designs, the rotor can act to serve as the motor's armature,...

Iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

The rotor is ferromagnetic, not permanently magnetized; it has no winding RELUCTANCE
Reluctance motor
A reluctance motor is a type of electric motor that induces non-permanent magnetic poles on the ferromagnetic rotor. Torque is generated through the phenomenon of magnetic reluctance.A reluctance motor, in its various incarnations, may be known as a:...

 (2):
 • Hysteresis 
 • Synchronous reluctance 
Switched or variable reluctance / SRM
Switched Reluctance Motor
The switched reluctance motor is an electric motor which runs by reluctance torque. It has wound field coils as in a DC motor for the stator windings. The rotor however has no magnets or coils attached. The rotor of the motor becomes aligned as soon as the opposite poles of the stator become...

 
Switched or variable reluctance / SRM
Switched Reluctance Motor
The switched reluctance motor is an electric motor which runs by reluctance torque. It has wound field coils as in a DC motor for the stator windings. The rotor however has no magnets or coils attached. The rotor of the motor becomes aligned as soon as the opposite poles of the stator become...

 
 • Stepper
Stepper motor
A stepper motor is a brushless, electric motor that can divide a full rotation into a large number of steps. The motor's position can be controlled precisely without any feedback mechanism , as long as the motor is carefully sized to the application...


 • Coilgun
Coilgun
A coilgun is a type of projectile accelerator that consists of one or more coils used as electromagnets in the configuration of a synchronous linear motor which accelerate a magnetic projectile to high velocity...

/mass driver
Mass driver
A mass driver or electromagnetic catapult is a proposed method of non-rocket spacelaunch which would use a linear motor to accelerate and catapult payloads up to high speeds. All existing and contemplated mass drivers use coils of wire energized by electricity to make electromagnets. Sequential...

Magnet
Magnet
A magnet is a material or object that produces a magnetic field. This magnetic field is invisible but is responsible for the most notable property of a magnet: a force that pulls on other ferromagnetic materials, such as iron, and attracts or repels other magnets.A permanent magnet is an object...

The rotor is a permanent magnet; it has no winding PMSM
Synchronous motor
A synchronous electric motor is an AC motor distinguished by a rotor spinning with coils passing magnets at the same rate as the power supply frequency and resulting rotating magnetic field which drives it....

 / BLAC
Brushless AC electric motor
A Brushless AC electric motor, also known as a permanent magnet synchronous motor , is similar to a brushless DC electric motor in that the magnetic field of the rotor is supplied by the permanent magnets rather than by electromagnets. However, the stator windings of a brushless AC motor are ,...

 (2)
(Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor / Brush-less Alternating Current)
BLDC
Brushless DC electric motor
Brushless DC motors also known as electronically commutated motors are electric motors powered by direct-current electricity and having electronic commutation systems, rather than mechanical commutators and brushes...


(Brush-less Direct Current)
Copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 (usually plus magnetic core
Magnetic core
A magnetic core is a piece of magnetic material with a high permeability used to confine and guide magnetic fields in electrical, electromechanical and magnetic devices such as electromagnets, transformers, electric motors, inductors and magnetic assemblies. It is made of ferromagnetic metal such...

)
The rotor includes a winding
Coil
A coil is a series of loops. A coiled coil is a structure in which the coil itself is in turn also looping.-Electromagnetic coils:An electromagnetic coil is formed when a conductor is wound around a core or form to create an inductor or electromagnet...

INDUCTION
Induction motor
An induction or asynchronous motor is a type of AC motor where power is supplied to the rotor by means of electromagnetic induction. These motors are widely used in industrial drives, particularly polyphase induction motors, because they are robust and have no brushes...

 (3)
(Squirrel cage)
PM
(Permanent Magnet)

WOUND STATOR:
 • universal(1) / series wound
 • shunt wound
 • compound wound

Commutator supplies power to the coils that are best positioned to generate torque

Homopolar motor (ironless rotors typical)
Frequency controlled induction motor fed from Inverter
Inverter (electrical)
An inverter is an electrical device that converts direct current to alternating current ; the converted AC can be at any required voltage and frequency with the use of appropriate transformers, switching, and control circuits....


Notes:
  1. Universal motors can also work at line frequency AC (rotation is independent of the frequency of the AC voltage)
  2. Rotation is synchronous with the frequency of the AC voltage
  3. Rotation is always slower than synchronous.

DC motors



A DC motor is designed to run on DC electric power. Two examples of pure DC designs are Michael Faraday
Michael Faraday
Michael Faraday, FRS was an English chemist and physicist who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry....

's homopolar motor
Homopolar motor
A homopolar motor is an electric motor that works without the need for a commutator, by rotating along a fixed axis that is parallel to the external magnetic field produced by a permanent magnet. The name homopolar indicates that the electrical polarity of the motor does not change...

 (which is uncommon), and the ball bearing motor
Ball bearing motor
A ball bearing motor is an unusual electric motor that consists of two ball-bearing-type bearings, with the inner races mounted on a common conductive shaft, and the outer races connected to a high current, low voltage power supply. An alternative construction fits the outer races inside a metal...

, which is (so far) a novelty. By far the most common DC motor types are the brushed
Brush (electric)
A brush is a device which conducts current between stationary wires and moving parts, most commonly in a rotating shaft. Typical applications include electric motors, alternators and electric generators.-Etymology:...

 and brushless types, which use internal and external commutation respectively to reverse the current in the windings in synchronism with rotation.
Permanent-magnet motors


A permanent-magnet motor does not have a field winding on the stator frame, instead relying on permanent magnets to provide the magnetic field against which the rotor field interacts to produce torque. Compensating windings in series with the armature may be used on large motors to improve commutation under load. Because this field is fixed, it cannot be adjusted for speed control. Permanent-magnet fields (stators) are convenient in miniature motors to eliminate the power consumption of the field winding. Most larger DC motors are of the "dynamo" type, which have stator windings. Historically, permanent magnets could not be made to retain high flux if they were disassembled; field windings were more practical to obtain the needed amount of flux. However, large permanent magnets are costly, as well as dangerous and difficult to assemble; this favors wound fields for large machines.

To minimize overall weight and size, miniature permanent-magnet motors may use high energy magnets made with neodymium
Neodymium
Neodymium is a chemical element with the symbol Nd and atomic number 60. It is a soft silvery metal that tarnishes in air. Neodymium was discovered in 1885 by the Austrian chemist Carl Auer von Welsbach. It is present in significant quantities in the ore minerals monazite and bastnäsite...

 or other strategic elements; most such are neodymium-iron-boron alloy. With their higher flux density, electric machines with high energy permanent magnets are at least competitive with all optimally designed singly fed synchronous
Synchronous motor
A synchronous electric motor is an AC motor distinguished by a rotor spinning with coils passing magnets at the same rate as the power supply frequency and resulting rotating magnetic field which drives it....

 and induction
Induction motor
An induction or asynchronous motor is a type of AC motor where power is supplied to the rotor by means of electromagnetic induction. These motors are widely used in industrial drives, particularly polyphase induction motors, because they are robust and have no brushes...

 electric machines. Miniature motors resemble the structure in the illustration, except that they have at least three rotor poles (to ensure starting, regardless of rotor position) and their outer housing is a steel tube that magnetically links the exteriors of the curved field magnets.
Brushed DC motors



DC motors have AC in a wound rotor also called an armature
Armature (electrical engineering)
In electrical engineering, an armature generally refers to one of the two principal electrical components of an electromechanical machine–generally in a motor or generator, but it may also mean the pole piece of a permanent magnet or electromagnet, or the moving iron part of a solenoid or relay....

, with a split ring commutator
Commutator (electric)
A commutator is a rotary electrical switch in certain types of electric motors or electrical generators that periodically reverses the current direction between the rotor and the external circuit. In a motor, it applies power to the best location on the rotor, and in a generator, picks off power...

, and either a wound or permanent magnet stator. The commutator and brushes are a long-life rotary switch. The rotor consists of one or more coils of wire wound around a laminated "soft" ferromagnetic core on a shaft; an electrical power source feeds the rotor windings through the commutator and its brushes, temporarily magnetizing the rotor core in a specific direction. The commutator switches power to the coils as the rotor turns, keeping the magnetic poles of the rotor from ever fully aligning with the magnetic poles of the stator field, so that the rotor never stops (like a compass needle does), but rather keeps rotating as long as power is applied.

Many of the limitations of the classic commutator
Commutator (electric)
A commutator is a rotary electrical switch in certain types of electric motors or electrical generators that periodically reverses the current direction between the rotor and the external circuit. In a motor, it applies power to the best location on the rotor, and in a generator, picks off power...

 DC motor are due to the need for brushes to press against the commutator. This creates friction
Friction
Friction is the force resisting the relative motion of solid surfaces, fluid layers, and/or material elements sliding against each other. There are several types of friction:...

. Sparks are created by the brushes making and breaking circuits through the rotor coils as the brushes cross the insulating gaps between commutator sections. Depending on the commutator design, this may include the brushes shorting together adjacent sections – and hence coil ends – momentarily while crossing the gaps. Furthermore, the inductance
Inductance
In electromagnetism and electronics, inductance is the ability of an inductor to store energy in a magnetic field. Inductors generate an opposing voltage proportional to the rate of change in current in a circuit...

 of the rotor coils causes the voltage across each to rise when its circuit is opened, increasing the sparking of the brushes. This sparking limits the maximum speed of the machine, as too-rapid sparking will overheat, erode, or even melt the commutator. The current density per unit area of the brushes, in combination with their resistivity
Resistivity
Electrical resistivity is a measure of how strongly a material opposes the flow of electric current. A low resistivity indicates a material that readily allows the movement of electric charge. The SI unit of electrical resistivity is the ohm metre...

, limits the output of the motor. The making and breaking of electric contact also generates electrical noise; sparking generates RFI. Brushes eventually wear out and require replacement, and the commutator itself is subject to wear and maintenance (on larger motors) or replacement (on small motors). The commutator assembly on a large motor is a costly element, requiring precision assembly of many parts. On small motors, the commutator is usually permanently integrated into the rotor, so replacing it usually requires replacing the whole rotor.

While most commutators are cylindrical, some are flat discs consisting of several segments (typically, at least three) mounted on an insulator.

Large brushes are desired for a larger brush contact area to maximize motor output, but small brushes are desired for low mass to maximize the speed at which the motor can run without the brushes excessively bouncing and sparking (comparable to the problem of "valve float
Valve float
Valve float is an adverse condition which occurs when the poppet valves on an internal combustion engine valvetrain do not remain in contact with the camshaft lobe during the valve closure phase of the cam lobe profile...

" in internal combustion engines). (Small brushes are also desirable for lower cost.) Stiffer brush springs can also be used to make brushes of a given mass work at a higher speed, but at the cost of greater friction losses (lower efficiency) and accelerated brush and commutator wear. Therefore, DC motor brush design entails a trade-off between output power, speed, and efficiency/wear.
Notes on terminology

The first practical electric motors, used for street railways, were DC with commutators. Power was fed to the commutators (made of copper) by copper brushes, but the voltage difference between adjacent commutator bars, excellent conductivity of the copper brushes, and arcing created considerable damage after only a quite short period of operation. An electrical engineer realized that replacing the copper brushes with electrically resistive solid carbon blocks would provide much longer life. Although the term is no longer descriptive, the carbon blocks continue to be called "brushes" even to this day.

Sculptors who work with clay need support structures called armatures to keep larger works from sagging due to gravity. Magnetic laminations, in a rotor with windings, similarly support insulated-copper-wire coils. By analogy, wound rotors came to be called "armatures".

Commutators, at least among some people who work with them daily, have become so familiar that some fail to realize that they are just a particular variety of rotary electrical switch. Considering how frequently connections make and break, they have very long lifetimes.



There are five types of brushed DC motor:
  • DC shunt-wound motor
  • DC series-wound motor
  • DC compound motor (two configurations):
    • Cumulative compound
    • Differentially compounded
  • Permanent magnet DC motor (not shown)
  • Separately excited (not shown)

Brushless DC motors


Some of the problems of the brushed DC motor are eliminated in the brushless design. In this motor, the mechanical "rotating switch" or commutator/brushgear assembly is replaced by an external electronic switch synchronised to the rotor's position. Brushless motors are typically 85–90% efficient or more, efficiency for a brushless electric motor, of up to 96.5% was reported whereas DC motors with brushgear are typically 75–80% efficient.

Midway between ordinary DC
Direct current
Direct current is the unidirectional flow of electric charge. Direct current is produced by such sources as batteries, thermocouples, solar cells, and commutator-type electric machines of the dynamo type. Direct current may flow in a conductor such as a wire, but can also flow through...

 motors and stepper motor
Stepper motor
A stepper motor is a brushless, electric motor that can divide a full rotation into a large number of steps. The motor's position can be controlled precisely without any feedback mechanism , as long as the motor is carefully sized to the application...

s lies the realm of the brushless DC motor
Brushless DC electric motor
Brushless DC motors also known as electronically commutated motors are electric motors powered by direct-current electricity and having electronic commutation systems, rather than mechanical commutators and brushes...

. Built in a fashion very similar to stepper motors, these often use a permanent magnet external rotor, three phases of driving coils, may use Hall effect sensor
Hall effect sensor
A Hall effect sensor is a transducer that varies its output voltage in response to a magnetic field. Hall effect sensors are used for proximity switching, positioning, speed detection, and current sensing applications....

s to sense the position of the rotor, and associated drive electronics. The coils are activated, one phase after the other, by the drive electronics as cued by the signals from either Hall effect sensors or from the back EMF (electromotive force
Electromotive force
In physics, electromotive force, emf , or electromotance refers to voltage generated by a battery or by the magnetic force according to Faraday's Law, which states that a time varying magnetic field will induce an electric current.It is important to note that the electromotive "force" is not a...

) of the undriven coils. In effect, they act as three-phase synchronous motors containing their own variable-frequency drive electronics. A specialized class of brushless DC motor controllers utilize EMF feedback through the main phase connections instead of Hall effect sensors to determine position and velocity. These motors are used extensively in electric radio-controlled
Radio control
Radio control is the use of radio signals to remotely control a device. The term is used frequently to refer to the control of model vehicles from a hand-held radio transmitter...

 vehicles. When configured with the magnets on the outside, these are referred to by modelers as outrunner motors.

Brushless DC motors are commonly used where precise speed control is necessary, as in computer disk drives or in video cassette recorders, the spindles within CD, CD-ROM
CD-ROM
A CD-ROM is a pre-pressed compact disc that contains data accessible to, but not writable by, a computer for data storage and music playback. The 1985 “Yellow Book” standard developed by Sony and Philips adapted the format to hold any form of binary data....

 (etc.) drives, and mechanisms within office products such as fans
Fan (mechanical)
A mechanical fan is a machine used to create flow within a fluid, typically a gas such as air.A fan consists of a rotating arrangement of vanes or blades which act on the air. Usually, it is contained within some form of housing or case. This may direct the airflow or increase safety by preventing...

, laser printer
Laser printer
A laser printer is a common type of computer printer that rapidly produces high quality text and graphics on plain paper. As with digital photocopiers and multifunction printers , laser printers employ a xerographic printing process, but differ from analog photocopiers in that the image is produced...

s and photocopier
Photocopier
A photocopier is a machine that makes paper copies of documents and other visual images quickly and cheaply. Most current photocopiers use a technology called xerography, a dry process using heat...

s. They have several advantages over conventional motors:
  • Compared to AC fans using shaded-pole motors, they are very efficient, running much cooler than the equivalent AC motors. This cool operation leads to much-improved life of the fan's bearing
    Bearing (mechanical)
    A bearing is a device to allow constrained relative motion between two or more parts, typically rotation or linear movement. Bearings may be classified broadly according to the motions they allow and according to their principle of operation as well as by the directions of applied loads they can...

    s.
  • Without a commutator
    Commutator (electric)
    A commutator is a rotary electrical switch in certain types of electric motors or electrical generators that periodically reverses the current direction between the rotor and the external circuit. In a motor, it applies power to the best location on the rotor, and in a generator, picks off power...

     to wear out, the life of a DC brushless motor can be significantly longer compared to a DC motor using brushes and a commutator. Commutation also tends to cause a great deal of electrical and RF noise; without a commutator or brushes, a brushless motor may be used in electrically sensitive devices like audio equipment or computers.
  • The same Hall effect sensors that provide the commutation can also provide a convenient tachometer
    Tachometer
    A tachometer is an instrument measuring the rotation speed of a shaft or disk, as in a motor or other machine. The device usually displays the revolutions per minute on a calibrated analogue dial, but digital displays are increasingly common...

     signal for closed-loop control (servo-controlled) applications. In fans, the tachometer signal can be used to derive a "fan OK" signal as well as provide running speed feedback.
  • The motor can be easily synchronized to an internal or external clock, leading to precise speed control.
  • Brushless motors have no chance of sparking, unlike brushed motors, making them better suited to environments with volatile chemicals and fuels. Also, sparking generates ozone which can accumulate in poorly ventilated buildings risking harm to occupants' health.
  • Brushless motors are usually used in small equipment such as computers and are generally used in fans to get rid of unwanted heat.
  • They are also acoustically very quiet motors which is an advantage if being used in equipment that is affected by vibrations.

Modern DC brushless motors range in power from a fraction of a watt
Watt
The watt is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units , named after the Scottish engineer James Watt . The unit, defined as one joule per second, measures the rate of energy conversion.-Definition:...

 to many kilowatts. Larger brushless motors up to about 100 kW rating are used in electric vehicle
Electric vehicle
An electric vehicle , also referred to as an electric drive vehicle, uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion...

s. They also find significant use in high-performance electric model aircraft.
Switched reluctance motors


The switched reluctance motor (SRM) has no brushes or permanent magnets, and the rotor has no electric currents.
Instead, torque comes from a slight mis-alignment of poles on the rotor with poles on the stator.
The rotor aligns itself with the magnetic field of the stator, while the stator field stator windings are sequentially energized to rotate the stator field.

The magnetic flux created by the field windings follows the path of least magnetic reluctance, meaning the flux will flow through poles of the rotor that are closest to the energized poles of the stator, thereby magnitizing those poles of the rotor and creating torque. As the rotor turns, different windings will be energized, keeping the rotor turning.

Switched reluctance motors are now being used in some appliances..
Coreless or ironless DC motors


Nothing in the principle of any of the motors described above requires that the iron (steel) portions of the rotor actually rotate. If the soft magnetic material of the rotor is made in the form of a cylinder, then (except for the effect of hysteresis) torque is exerted only on the windings of the electromagnets. Taking advantage of this fact is the coreless or ironless DC motor, a specialized form of a brush or brushless DC motor. Optimized for rapid acceleration
Acceleration
In physics, acceleration is the rate of change of velocity with time. In one dimension, acceleration is the rate at which something speeds up or slows down. However, since velocity is a vector, acceleration describes the rate of change of both the magnitude and the direction of velocity. ...

, these motors have a rotor that is constructed without any iron core. The rotor can take the form of a winding-filled cylinder, or a self-supporting structure comprising only the magnet wire and the bonding material. The rotor can fit inside the stator
Stator
The stator is the stationary part of a rotor system, found in an electric generator, electric motor and biological rotors.Depending on the configuration of a spinning electromotive device the stator may act as the field magnet, interacting with the armature to create motion, or it may act as the...

 magnets; a magnetically soft stationary cylinder inside the rotor provides a return path for the stator magnetic flux. A second arrangement has the rotor winding basket surrounding the stator magnets. In that design, the rotor fits inside a magnetically soft cylinder that can serve as the housing for the motor, and likewise provides a return path for the flux.

Because the rotor is much lighter in weight (mass) than a conventional rotor formed from copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 windings on steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

 laminations, the rotor can accelerate much more rapidly, often achieving a mechanical time constant
Time constant
In physics and engineering, the time constant, usually denoted by the Greek letter \tau , is the risetime characterizing the response to a time-varying input of a first-order, linear time-invariant system.Concretely, a first-order LTI system is a system that can be modeled by a single first order...

 under 1 ms
Millisecond
A millisecond is a thousandth of a second.10 milliseconds are called a centisecond....

. This is especially true if the windings use aluminum rather than the heavier copper. But because there is no metal mass in the rotor to act as a heat sink, even small coreless motors must often be cooled by forced air. Overheating might be an issue for coreless DC motor designs.

Among these types are the disc-rotor types, described in more detail in the next section.

Vibrator motors for cellular phones are sometimes tiny cylindrical permanent-magnet field types, but there are also disc-shaped types which have a thin multipolar disc field magnet, and an intentionally unbalanced molded-plastic rotor structure with two bonded coreless coils. Metal brushes and a flat commutator switch power to the rotor coils.

Related limited-travel actuators have no core and a bonded coil placed between the poles of high-flux thin permanent magnets. These are the fast head positioners for rigid-disk ("hard disk") drives. Although the contemporary design differs considerably from that of loudspeakers, it is still loosely (and incorrectly) referred to as a "voice coil" structure, because some earlier rigid-disk-drive heads moved in straight lines, and had a drive structure much like that of a loudspeaker.
Printed armature or pancake DC motors


A rather unusual motor design, the printed armature or pancake motor has the windings shaped as a disc running between arrays of high-flux magnets. The magnets are arranged in a circle facing the rotor with space in between to form an axial air gap. This design is commonly known as the pancake motor because of its extremely flat profile, although the technology has had many brand names since its inception, such as ServoDisc.

The printed armature (originally formed on a printed circuit board
Printed circuit board
A printed circuit board, or PCB, is used to mechanically support and electrically connect electronic components using conductive pathways, tracks or signal traces etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate. It is also referred to as printed wiring board or etched wiring...

) in a printed armature motor is made from punched copper sheets that are laminated together using advanced composites to form a thin rigid disc. The printed armature has a unique construction in the brushed motor world in that it does not have a separate ring commutator. The brushes run directly on the armature surface making the whole design very compact.

An alternative manufacturing method is to use wound copper wire laid flat with a central conventional commutator, in a flower and petal shape. The windings are typically stabilized by being impregnated with electrical epoxy
Epoxy
Epoxy, also known as polyepoxide, is a thermosetting polymer formed from reaction of an epoxide "resin" with polyamine "hardener". Epoxy has a wide range of applications, including fiber-reinforced plastic materials and general purpose adhesives....

 potting systems. These are filled epoxies that have moderate mixed viscosity and a long gel time. They are highlighted by low shrinkage and low exotherm, and are typically UL 1446 recognized as a potting compound for use up to 180°C (Class H) (UL File No. E 210549).

The unique advantage of ironless DC motors is that there is no cogging (torque variations caused by changing attraction between the iron and the magnets). Parasitic eddy currents cannot form in the rotor as it is totally ironless, although iron rotors are laminated. This can greatly improve efficiency, but variable-speed controllers must use a higher switching rate (>40 kHz) or direct current
Direct current
Direct current is the unidirectional flow of electric charge. Direct current is produced by such sources as batteries, thermocouples, solar cells, and commutator-type electric machines of the dynamo type. Direct current may flow in a conductor such as a wire, but can also flow through...

 because of the decreased electromagnetic induction
Electromagnetic induction
Electromagnetic induction is the production of an electric current across a conductor moving through a magnetic field. It underlies the operation of generators, transformers, induction motors, electric motors, synchronous motors, and solenoids....

.

These motors were originally invented to drive the capstan
Capstan
Capstan may refer to:*Capstan , a rotating machine used to control or apply force to another element*Capstan , rotating spindles used to move recording tape through the mechanism of a tape recorder...

(s) of magnetic tape
Magnetic tape
Magnetic tape is a medium for magnetic recording, made of a thin magnetizable coating on a long, narrow strip of plastic. It was developed in Germany, based on magnetic wire recording. Devices that record and play back audio and video using magnetic tape are tape recorders and video tape recorders...

 drives in the burgeoning computer industry, where minimal time to reach operating speed and minimal stopping distance were critical. Pancake motors are still widely used in high-performance servo-controlled systems, humanoid robotic systems, industrial automation and medical devices. Due to the variety of constructions now available, the technology is used in applications from high temperature military to low cost pump and basic servos.

Universal motors



A series-wound motor is referred to as a universal motor when it has been designed to operate on either AC or DC power. It can operate well on AC because the current in both the field and the armature (and hence the resultant magnetic fields) will alternate (reverse polarity) in synchronism, and hence the resulting mechanical force will occur in a constant direction of rotation.

Operating at normal power line frequencies
Utility frequency
The utility frequency, line frequency or mains frequency is the frequency at which alternating current is transmitted from a power plant to the end-user. In most parts of the world this is 50 Hz, although in the Americas it is typically 60 Hz...

, universal motors are often found in a range rarely larger than . Universal motors also form the basis of the traditional railway traction motor
Traction motor
Traction motor refers to an electric motor providing the primary rotational torque of a machine, usually for conversion into linear motion ....

 in electric railways. In this application, the use of AC to power a motor originally designed to run on DC would lead to efficiency losses due to eddy current
Eddy current
Eddy currents are electric currents induced in conductors when a conductor is exposed to a changing magnetic field; due to relative motion of the field source and conductor or due to variations of the field with time. This can cause a circulating flow of electrons, or current, within the body of...

 heating of their magnetic components, particularly the motor field pole-pieces that, for DC, would have used solid (un-laminated) iron. Although the heating effects are reduced by using laminated pole-pieces, as used for the cores of transformers and by the use of laminations of high permeability
Permeability (electromagnetism)
In electromagnetism, permeability is the measure of the ability of a material to support the formation of a magnetic field within itself. In other words, it is the degree of magnetization that a material obtains in response to an applied magnetic field. Magnetic permeability is typically...

 electrical steel
Electrical steel
Electrical steel, also called lamination steel, silicon electrical steel, silicon steel, relay steel or transformer steel, is specialty steel tailored to produce certain magnetic properties, such as a small hysteresis area and high permeability.The material is usually manufactured in the form of...

, one solution available at start of the 20th century was for the motors to be operated from very low frequency AC supplies, with operation being common. Because they used universal motors, locomotives using this design were also commonly capable of operating from a third rail
Third rail
A third rail is a method of providing electric power to a railway train, through a semi-continuous rigid conductor placed alongside or between the rails of a railway track. It is used typically in a mass transit or rapid transit system, which has alignments in its own corridors, fully or almost...

 or overhead wire powered by DC
Direct current
Direct current is the unidirectional flow of electric charge. Direct current is produced by such sources as batteries, thermocouples, solar cells, and commutator-type electric machines of the dynamo type. Direct current may flow in a conductor such as a wire, but can also flow through...

. As well, considering that steam engines directly powered many alternators, their relatively low speeds favored low frequencies because comparatively few stator poles were needed.

An advantage of the universal motor is that AC supplies may be used on motors which have some characteristics more common in DC motors, specifically high starting torque and very compact design if high running speeds are used. The negative aspect is the maintenance and short life problems caused by the commutator
Commutator (electric)
A commutator is a rotary electrical switch in certain types of electric motors or electrical generators that periodically reverses the current direction between the rotor and the external circuit. In a motor, it applies power to the best location on the rotor, and in a generator, picks off power...

. Such motors are used in devices such as food mixers and power tools which are used only intermittently, and often have high starting-torque demands. Continuous speed control of a universal motor running on AC is easily obtained by use of a thyristor
Thyristor
A thyristor is a solid-state semiconductor device with four layers of alternating N and P-type material. They act as bistable switches, conducting when their gate receives a current trigger, and continue to conduct while they are forward biased .Some sources define silicon controlled rectifiers and...

 circuit, while multiple taps on the field coil provide (imprecise) stepped speed control. Household blenders that advertise many speeds frequently combine a field coil with several taps and a diode
Diode
In electronics, a diode is a type of two-terminal electronic component with a nonlinear current–voltage characteristic. A semiconductor diode, the most common type today, is a crystalline piece of semiconductor material connected to two electrical terminals...

 that can be inserted in series with the motor (causing the motor to run on half-wave rectified AC).

In the past, repulsion-start wound-rotor motors provided high starting torque, but with added complexity. Their rotors were similar to those of universal motors, but their brushes were connected only to each other. Transformer action induced current into the rotor. Brush position relative to field poles meant that starting torque was developed by rotor repulsion from the field poles. A centrifugal mechanism, when close to running speed, connected all commutator bars together to create the equivalent of a squirrel-cage rotor.
As well, when close to operating speed, better motors lifted the brushes out of contact.

Induction motors cannot turn a shaft faster than allowed by the power line frequency
Utility frequency
The utility frequency, line frequency or mains frequency is the frequency at which alternating current is transmitted from a power plant to the end-user. In most parts of the world this is 50 Hz, although in the Americas it is typically 60 Hz...

. By contrast, universal motors generally run at high speeds, making them useful for appliances such as blenders
Blender (device)
A blender is a kitchen and laboratory appliance used to mix, puree, or emulsify food and other substances. A stationary blender consists of a blender jar with blade at the bottom, rotated by a motor in the base...

, vacuum cleaner
Vacuum cleaner
A vacuum cleaner, commonly referred to as a "vacuum," is a device that uses an air pump to create a partial vacuum to suck up dust and dirt, usually from floors, and optionally from other surfaces as well. The dirt is collected by either a dustbag or a cyclone for later disposal...

s, and hair dryers where high speed and light weight is desirable. They are also commonly used in portable power tools, such as drills, sander
Sander
A sander is a power tool used to smooth wood and automotive or wood finishes by abrasion with sandpaper. Sanders have a means to attach the sandpaper and a mechanism to move it rapidly contained within a housing with means to hand-hold it or fix it to a workbench. Woodworking sanders are usually...

s, circular
Circular saw
The circular saw is a machine using a toothed metal cutting disc or blade. The term is also loosely used for the blade itself. The blade is a tool for cutting wood or other materials and may be hand-held or table-mounted. It can also be used to make narrow slots...

 and jig saws
Jigsaw (power tool)
A jigsaw is a tool used for cutting arbitrary curves, such as stenciled designs or other custom shapes, into a piece of wood, metal, or other material. It can be used in a more artistic fashion than other saws, which typically cut in straight lines only. In this way, it is similar to the rasp and...

, where the motor's characteristics work well. Many vacuum cleaner and weed trimmer
String trimmer
A string trimmer, also known as a strimmer, line trimmer, weed whacker, weed whip, weed eater, weedy, or whipper snipper, is a powered handheld device that uses a flexible monofilament line instead of a blade for cutting grass and other plants near objects...

 motors exceed , while Dremel
Dremel
Dremel is a brand of power tools known primarily for their rotary tools. The tools were originally developed by Albert J. Dremel, who founded the Dremel Company in 1932 in Racine, Wisconsin. In 1993, the company was purchased by Robert Bosch GmbH, and today it is a division of the Robert Bosch Tool...

 and other similar miniature grinders will often exceed .

Universal motors also lend themselves to electronic speed control and, as such, are an ideal choice for domestic washing machines
Washing machine
A washing machine is a machine designed to wash laundry, such as clothing, towels and sheets...

. The motor can be used to agitate the drum (both forwards and in reverse) by switching the field winding with respect to the armature. The motor can also be run up to the high speeds required for the spin cycle.

Motor damage may occur from overspeeding (running at a rotational speed in excess of design limits) if the unit is operated with no significant load. On larger motors, sudden loss of load is to be avoided, and the possibility of such an occurrence is incorporated into the motor's protection and control schemes. In some smaller applications, a fan blade
Fan (mechanical)
A mechanical fan is a machine used to create flow within a fluid, typically a gas such as air.A fan consists of a rotating arrangement of vanes or blades which act on the air. Usually, it is contained within some form of housing or case. This may direct the airflow or increase safety by preventing...

 attached to the shaft often acts as an artificial load to limit the motor speed to a safe level, as well as a means to circulate cooling airflow over the armature and field windings.

AC motors


In 1882, Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor, mechanical engineer, and electrical engineer...

 discovered the rotating magnetic field
Rotating magnetic field
A rotating magnetic field is a magnetic field which changes direction at a constant angular rate. This is a key principle in the operation of the alternating-current motor. Nikola Tesla claimed in his autobiography that he identified the concept of the rotating magnetic field in 1882. In 1885,...

, and pioneered the use of a rotary field of force to operate machines. He exploited the principle to design a unique two-phase induction motor in 1883. In 1885, Galileo Ferraris
Galileo Ferraris
Galileo Ferraris was an Italian physicist and electrical engineer, noted mostly for the studies and independent discovery of the rotating magnetic field, a basic working principle of the induction motor...

 independently researched the concept. In 1888, Ferraris published his research in a paper to the Royal Academy of Sciences in Turin.

Tesla had suggested that the commutator
Commutator (electric)
A commutator is a rotary electrical switch in certain types of electric motors or electrical generators that periodically reverses the current direction between the rotor and the external circuit. In a motor, it applies power to the best location on the rotor, and in a generator, picks off power...

s from a machine could be removed and the device could operate on a rotary field of force. Professor Poeschel, his teacher, stated that would be akin to building a perpetual motion machine. Tesla would later attain , Electric Motor (December 1889), which resembles the motor seen in many of Tesla's photos. This classic alternating current electro-magnetic motor was an induction motor
Induction motor
An induction or asynchronous motor is a type of AC motor where power is supplied to the rotor by means of electromagnetic induction. These motors are widely used in industrial drives, particularly polyphase induction motors, because they are robust and have no brushes...

.

Michail Osipovich Dolivo-Dobrovolsky later invented a three-phase "cage-rotor" in 1890. This type of motor is now used for the vast majority of commercial applications.

An AC motor has two parts: a stationary stator having coils supplied with alternating current to produce a rotating magnetic field, and a rotor attached to the output shaft that is given a torque by the rotating field.
AC motor with sliding rotor

A conical-rotor brake motor incorporates the brake as an integral part of the conical sliding rotor. When the motor is at rest, a spring acts on the sliding rotor and forces the brake ring against the brake cap in the motor, holding the rotor stationary. When the motor is energized, its magnetic field generates both an axial and a radial component. The axial component overcomes the spring force, releasing the brake; while the radial component causes the rotor to turn. There is no additional brake control required.
Synchronous electric motor

A synchronous electric motor is an AC motor distinguished by a rotor spinning with coils passing magnets at the same rate as the alternating current and resulting magnetic field which drives it. Another way of saying this is that it has zero slip under usual operating conditions. Contrast this with an induction motor, which must slip to produce torque. One type of synchronous motor is like an induction motor except the rotor is excited by a DC field. Slip rings and brushes are used to conduct current to the rotor. The rotor poles connect to each other and move at the same speed hence the name synchronous motor. Another type, for low load torque, has flats ground onto a conventional squirrel-cage rotor to create discrete poles. Yet another, such as made by Hammond for its pre-World War II clocks, and in the older Hammond organs, has no rotor windings and discrete poles. It is not self-starting. The clock requires manual starting by a small knob on the back, while the older Hammond organs had an auxiliary starting motor connected by a spring-loaded manually operated switch.

Finally, hysteresis synchronous motors typically are (essentially) two-phase motors with a phase-shifting capacitor for one phase. They start like induction motors, but when slip rate decreases sufficiently, the rotor (a smooth cylinder) becomes temporarily magnetized. Its distributed poles make it act like a permanent-magnet-rotor synchronous motor. The rotor material, like that of a common nail, will stay magnetized, but can also be demagnetized with little difficulty. Once running, the rotor poles stay in place; they do not drift.

Low-power synchronous timing motors (such as those for traditional electric clocks) may have multi-pole permanent-magnet external cup rotors, and use shading coils to provide starting torque. Telechron clock motors have shaded poles for starting torque, and a two-spoke ring rotor that performs like a discrete two-pole rotor.
Induction motor


An induction motor is an asynchronous AC motor where power is transferred to the rotor by electromagnetic induction, much like transformer action. An induction motor resembles a rotating transformer, because the stator (stationary part) is essentially the primary side of the transformer and the rotor (rotating part) is the secondary side. Polyphase induction motors are widely used in industry.

Induction motors may be further divided into squirrel-cage motors and wound-rotor motors. Squirrel-cage motors have a heavy winding made up of solid bars, usually aluminum or copper, joined by rings at the ends of the rotor. When one considers only the bars and rings as a whole, they are much like an animal's rotating exercise cage, hence the name.

Currents induced into this winding provide the rotor magnetic field. The shape of the rotor bars determines the speed-torque characteristics. At low speeds, the current induced in the squirrel cage is nearly at line frequency and tends to be in the outer parts of the rotor cage. As the motor accelerates, the slip frequency becomes lower, and more current is in the interior of the winding. By shaping the bars to change the resistance of the winding portions in the interior and outer parts of the cage, effectively a variable resistance is inserted in the rotor circuit. However, the majority of such motors have uniform bars.

In a wound-rotor motor, the rotor winding is made of many turns of insulated wire and is connected to slip ring
Slip ring
A slip ring is a method of making an electrical connection through a rotating assembly. Slip rings, also called rotary electrical interfaces, rotating electrical connectors, collectors, swivels, or electrical rotary joints, are commonly found in electric motors, electrical generators for AC...

s on the motor shaft. An external resistor or other control devices can be connected in the rotor circuit. Resistors allow control of the motor speed, although significant power is dissipated in the external resistance. A converter can be fed from the rotor circuit and return the slip-frequency power that would otherwise be wasted back into the power system through an inverter or separate motor-generator.

The wound-rotor induction motor is used primarily to start a high inertia load or a load that requires a very high starting torque across the full speed range. By correctly selecting the resistors used in the secondary resistance or slip ring starter, the motor is able to produce maximum torque at a relatively low supply current from zero speed to full speed. This type of motor also offers controllable speed.

Motor speed can be changed because the torque curve of the motor is effectively modified by the amount of resistance connected to the rotor circuit. Increasing the value of resistance will move the speed of maximum torque down. If the resistance connected to the rotor is increased beyond the point where the maximum torque occurs at zero speed, the torque will be further reduced.

When used with a load that has a torque curve that increases with speed, the motor will operate at the speed where the torque developed by the motor is equal to the load torque. Reducing the load will cause the motor to speed up, and increasing the load will cause the motor to slow down until the load and motor torque are equal. Operated in this manner, the slip losses are dissipated in the secondary resistors and can be very significant. The speed regulation and net efficiency is also very poor.
Doubly fed electric motor

Doubly fed electric motors have two independent multiphase winding sets, which contribute active (i.e., working) power to the energy conversion process, with at least one of the winding sets electronically controlled for variable speed operation. Two independent multiphase winding sets (i.e., dual armature) are the maximum provided in a single package without topology duplication. Doubly fed electric motors are machines with an effective constant torque speed range that is twice synchronous speed for a given frequency of excitation. This is twice the constant torque speed range as singly fed electric machines, which have only one active winding set.

A doubly fed motor allows for a smaller electronic converter but the cost of the rotor winding and slip rings may offset the saving in the power electronics components. Difficulties with controlling speed near synchronous speed limit applications.
Singly fed electric motor


Most AC motors are singly fed. Singly fed electric motors have a single multiphase winding set that is connected to a power supply. Singly fed electric machines may be either induction or synchronous. The active winding set can be electronically controlled. Singly fed electric machines have an effective constant torque speed range up to synchronous speed for a given excitation frequency.
Torque motors

A torque
Torque
Torque, moment or moment of force , is the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis, fulcrum, or pivot. Just as a force is a push or a pull, a torque can be thought of as a twist....

 motor (also known as a limited torque motor) is a specialized form of induction motor
Induction motor
An induction or asynchronous motor is a type of AC motor where power is supplied to the rotor by means of electromagnetic induction. These motors are widely used in industrial drives, particularly polyphase induction motors, because they are robust and have no brushes...

 which is capable of operating indefinitely while stalled
Stall (engine)
A stall is the slowing or stopping of a process, and in the case of an engine, refers to a sudden stopping of the engine turning, usually brought about accidentally....

, that is, with the rotor
Rotor (electric)
The rotor is the non-stationary part of a rotary electric motor, electric generator or alternator, which rotates because the wires and magnetic field of the motor are arranged so that a torque is developed about the rotor's axis. In some designs, the rotor can act to serve as the motor's armature,...

 blocked from turning, without incurring damage. In this mode of operation, the motor will apply a steady torque to the load (hence the name).

A common application of a torque motor would be the supply- and take-up reel
Reel
A reel is an object around which lengths of another material are wound for storage. Generally a reel has a cylindrical core and walls on the sides to retain the material wound around the core...

 motors in a tape drive
Tape drive
A tape drive is a data storage device that reads and performs digital recording, writes data on a magnetic tape. Magnetic tape data storage is typically used for offline, archival data storage. Tape media generally has a favorable unit cost and long archival stability.A tape drive provides...

. In this application, driven from a low voltage, the characteristics of these motors allow a relatively constant light tension to be applied to the tape whether or not the capstan is feeding tape past the tape heads. Driven from a higher voltage, (and so delivering a higher torque), the torque motors can also achieve fast-forward and rewind operation without requiring any additional mechanics such as gear
Gear
A gear is a rotating machine part having cut teeth, or cogs, which mesh with another toothed part in order to transmit torque. Two or more gears working in tandem are called a transmission and can produce a mechanical advantage through a gear ratio and thus may be considered a simple machine....

s or clutch
Clutch
A clutch is a mechanical device which provides for the transmission of power from one component to another...

es. In the computer gaming world, torque motors are used in force feedback steering wheels.

Another common application is the control of the throttle
Throttle
A throttle is the mechanism by which the flow of a fluid is managed by constriction or obstruction. An engine's power can be increased or decreased by the restriction of inlet gases , but usually decreased. The term throttle has come to refer, informally and incorrectly, to any mechanism by which...

 of an internal combustion engine
Internal combustion engine
The internal combustion engine is an engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer in a combustion chamber. In an internal combustion engine, the expansion of the high-temperature and high -pressure gases produced by combustion apply direct force to some component of the engine...

 in conjunction with an electronic
Electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

 governor
Governor (device)
A governor, or speed limiter, is a device used to measure and regulate the speed of a machine, such as an engine. A classic example is the centrifugal governor, also known as the Watt or fly-ball governor, which uses a rotating assembly of weights mounted on arms to determine how fast the engine...

. In this usage, the motor works against a return spring
Spring (device)
A spring is an elastic object used to store mechanical energy. Springs are usually made out of spring steel. Small springs can be wound from pre-hardened stock, while larger ones are made from annealed steel and hardened after fabrication...

 to move the throttle in accordance with the output of the governor. The latter monitors engine speed by counting electrical pulses from the ignition system
Ignition system
An ignition system is a system for igniting a fuel-air mixture. Ignition systems are well known in the field of internal combustion engines such as those used in petrol engines used to power the majority of motor vehicles, but they are also used in many other applications such as in oil-fired and...

 or from a magnetic pickup and, depending on the speed, makes small adjustments to the amount of current
Ampere
The ampere , often shortened to amp, is the SI unit of electric current and is one of the seven SI base units. It is named after André-Marie Ampère , French mathematician and physicist, considered the father of electrodynamics...

 applied to the motor. If the engine starts to slow down relative to the desired speed, the current will be increased, the motor will develop more torque, pulling against the return spring and opening the throttle. Should the engine run too fast, the governor will reduce the current being applied to the motor, causing the return spring to pull back and close the throttle.

Stepper motors



Closely related in design to three-phase AC synchronous motors are stepper motor
Stepper motor
A stepper motor is a brushless, electric motor that can divide a full rotation into a large number of steps. The motor's position can be controlled precisely without any feedback mechanism , as long as the motor is carefully sized to the application...

s, where an internal rotor containing permanent magnets or a magnetically soft rotor with salient poles is controlled by a set of external magnets that are switched electronically. A stepper motor may also be thought of as a cross between a DC electric motor and a rotary solenoid
Solenoid
A solenoid is a coil wound into a tightly packed helix. In physics, the term solenoid refers to a long, thin loop of wire, often wrapped around a metallic core, which produces a magnetic field when an electric current is passed through it. Solenoids are important because they can create...

. As each coil is energized in turn, the rotor aligns itself with the magnetic field produced by the energized field winding. Unlike a synchronous motor, in its application, the stepper motor may not rotate continuously; instead, it "steps"—starts and then quickly stops again—from one position to the next as field windings are energized and de-energized in sequence. Depending on the sequence, the rotor may turn forwards or backwards, and it may change direction, stop, speed up or slow down arbitrarily at any time.

Simple stepper motor drivers entirely energize or entirely de-energize the field windings, leading the rotor to "cog
Cog
Cog may refer to:* A part of a gear system* Cog , a small sailing vessel* A tenon that extends all the way through another piece of wood, in joinery* The evil robots in Toontown Online...

" to a limited number of positions; more sophisticated drivers can proportionally control the power to the field windings, allowing the rotors to position between the cog points and thereby rotate extremely smoothly. This mode of operation is often called microstepping. Computer controlled stepper motors are one of the most versatile forms of positioning systems, particularly when part of a digital servo-controlled
Servomechanism
thumb|right|200px|Industrial servomotorThe grey/green cylinder is the [[Brush |brush-type]] [[DC motor]]. The black section at the bottom contains the [[Epicyclic gearing|planetary]] [[Reduction drive|reduction gear]], and the black object on top of the motor is the optical [[rotary encoder]] for...

 system.

Stepper motors can be rotated to a specific angle in discrete steps with ease, and hence stepper motors are used for read/write head positioning in computer floppy diskette drives. They were used for the same purpose in pre-gigabyte era computer disk drives, where the precision and speed they offered was adequate for the correct positioning of the read/write head of a hard disk drive. As drive density increased, the precision and speed limitations of stepper motors made them obsolete for hard drives—the precision limitation made them unusable, and the speed limitation made them uncompetitive—thus newer hard disk drives use voice coil
Voice coil
A voice coil is the coil of wire attached to the apex of a loudspeaker cone. It provides the motive force to the cone by the reaction of a magnetic field to the current passing through it...

-based head actuator systems. (The term "voice coil" in this connection is historic; it refers to the structure in a typical (cone type) loudspeaker. This structure was used for a while to position the heads. Modern drives have a pivoted coil mount; the coil swings back and forth, something like a blade of a rotating fan. Nevertheless, like a voice coil, modern actuator coil conductors (the magnet wire) move perpendicular to the magnetic lines of force.)

Stepper motors were and still are often used in computer printers, optical scanners, and digital photocopiers to move the optical scanning element, the print head carriage (of dot matrix and inkjet printers), and the platen or feed rollers. Likewise, many computer plotters (which since the early 1990s have been replaced with large-format inkjet and laser printers) used rotary stepper motors for pen and platen movement; the typical alternatives here were either linear stepper motors or servomotors with closed-loop analog control systems.

So-called quartz analog wristwatches contain the smallest commonplace stepping motors; they have one coil, draw very little power, and have a permanent-magnet rotor. The same kind of motor drives battery-powered quartz clocks. Some of these watches, such as chronographs, contain more than one stepping motor.

Stepper motors were upscaled to be used in electric vehicles under the term SRM (Switched Reluctance Motor
Switched Reluctance Motor
The switched reluctance motor is an electric motor which runs by reluctance torque. It has wound field coils as in a DC motor for the stator windings. The rotor however has no magnets or coils attached. The rotor of the motor becomes aligned as soon as the opposite poles of the stator become...

).

Comparison

Comparison of motor types
Type Advantages Disadvantages Typical Application Typical Drive
AC polyphase induction squirrel-cage Low cost, long life,
high efficiency,
large ratings available (to 1 MW or more),
large number of standardized types
Starting inrush current can be high,
speed control requires variable frequency source
Pumps, fans, blowers, conveyors, compressors Poly-phase AC, variable frequency AC
Shaded-pole motor
Shaded-pole motor
A shaded-pole motor is a type of AC single-phase induction motor. It is basically a small squirrel cage motor in which the auxiliary winding is composed of a copper ring surrounding a portion of each pole. This auxiliary winding is called a shading coil. Currents in this coil delay the phase of ...

Low cost
Long life
Speed slightly below synchronous
Low starting torque
Small ratings
low efficiency
Fans, appliances, record players Single phase AC
AC induction – Squirrel cage, split-phase capacitor-start High power
high starting torque
Speed slightly below synchronous
Starting switch or relay required
Appliances
Stationary Power Tools
Single phase AC
AC induction – Squirrel cage, split-phase capacitor-run Moderate power
High starting torque
No starting switch
Comparatively long life
Speed slightly below synchronous
Slightly more costly
Industrial blowers
Industrial machinery
Single phase AC
AC induction – Squirrel cage motor, split-phase, auxiliary start winding Moderate power
Low starting torque
Speed slightly below synchronous
Starting switch or relay required
Appliances
Stationary Power Tools
Single phase AC
Universal motor High starting torque, compact, high speed. Maintenance (brushes)
Shorter lifespan
Usually acoustically noisy
Only small ratings are economic
Handheld power tools, blenders, vacuum cleaners, insulation blowers Single phase AC or DC
AC Synchronous
Synchronous motor
A synchronous electric motor is an AC motor distinguished by a rotor spinning with coils passing magnets at the same rate as the power supply frequency and resulting rotating magnetic field which drives it....

Synchronous speed
More costly Industrial motors
Clocks
Audio turntables
Tape drives
Single or Polyphase AC (Capacitor-run for single-phase)
Stepper DC
Stepper motor
A stepper motor is a brushless, electric motor that can divide a full rotation into a large number of steps. The motor's position can be controlled precisely without any feedback mechanism , as long as the motor is carefully sized to the application...

Precision positioning
High holding torque
Some can be costly
Require a controller
Positioning in printers and floppy disc drives; industrial machine tools DC
Brushless DC
Brushless DC electric motor
Brushless DC motors also known as electronically commutated motors are electric motors powered by direct-current electricity and having electronic commutation systems, rather than mechanical commutators and brushes...

Long lifespan
Low maintenance
High efficiency
Higher initial cost
Requires a controller
Rigid ("hard") disk drives
CD/DVD players
Electric vehicles
RC Vehicles
UAVs
DC or PWM
Pulse-width modulation
Pulse-width modulation , or pulse-duration modulation , is a commonly used technique for controlling power to inertial electrical devices, made practical by modern electronic power switches....

Switched reluctance motor
Switched Reluctance Motor
The switched reluctance motor is an electric motor which runs by reluctance torque. It has wound field coils as in a DC motor for the stator windings. The rotor however has no magnets or coils attached. The rotor of the motor becomes aligned as soon as the opposite poles of the stator become...

Long lifespan
Low maintenance
High efficiency
No permanent magnets
Low cost
Simple construction
Requires a controller Appliances
Electric Vehicles
Textile mills
Aircraft applications
DC or PWM
Pulse-width modulation
Pulse-width modulation , or pulse-duration modulation , is a commonly used technique for controlling power to inertial electrical devices, made practical by modern electronic power switches....

Brushed DC
Brushed DC electric motor
A brushed DC motor is an internally commutated electric motor designed to be run from a direct current power source.-Simple two-pole DC motor:The following graphics illustrate a simple, two-pole, brushed, DC motor.DC Motor Rotation...

Simple speed control Maintenance (brushes)
Medium lifespan
Costly commutator and brushes
Steel mills
Paper making machines
Treadmill exercisers
Automotive accessories
Direct DC or PWM
Pulse-width modulation
Pulse-width modulation , or pulse-duration modulation , is a commonly used technique for controlling power to inertial electrical devices, made practical by modern electronic power switches....

Pancake DC Compact design
Simple speed control
Medium cost
Medium lifespan
Office Equip
Fans/Pumps, fast industrial and military servos
Direct DC or PWM
Pulse-width modulation
Pulse-width modulation , or pulse-duration modulation , is a commonly used technique for controlling power to inertial electrical devices, made practical by modern electronic power switches....


Goodness factor



Professor Eric Laithwaite
Eric Laithwaite
Eric Roberts Laithwaite was a British electrical engineer, known as the "Father of Maglev" for his development of the linear induction motor and maglev rail system.- Biography :...

 proposed a metric to determine the 'goodness' of an electric motor:


Where: is the goodness factor (factors above 1 are likely to be efficient) are the cross sections of the magnetic and electric circuit are the lengths of the magnetic and electric circuits is the permeability of the core is the angular frequency the motor is driven at

From this he showed that the most efficient motors are likely to have relatively large magnetic poles. However, the equation only directly relates to non permanent magnet motors.

Full size


An electrostatic motor is based on the attraction and repulsion of electric charge. Usually, electrostatic motors are the dual of conventional coil-based motors. They typically require a high voltage power supply, although very small motors employ lower voltages. Conventional electric motors instead employ magnetic attraction and repulsion, and require high current at low voltages. In the 1750s, the first electrostatic motors were developed by Benjamin Franklin and Andrew Gordon. Today the electrostatic motor finds frequent use in micro-mechanical (MEMS) systems where their drive voltages are below 100 volts, and where moving, charged plates are far easier to fabricate than coils and iron cores. Also, the molecular machinery which runs living cells is often based on linear and rotary electrostatic motors.

Nanotube nanomotor


Researchers at University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

, recently developed rotational bearings based upon multiwall carbon nanotubes. By attaching a gold plate (with dimensions of the order of 100 nm) to the outer shell of a suspended multiwall carbon nanotube (like nested carbon cylinders), they are able to electrostatically rotate the outer shell relative to the inner core. These bearings are very robust; devices have been oscillated thousands of times with no indication of wear. These nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) are the next step in miniaturization and may find their way into commercial applications in the future.

See also:
  • Molecular motors
    Molecular motors
    Molecular motors are biological molecular machines that are the essential agents of movement in living organisms. Generally speaking, a motor may be defined as a device that consumes energy in one form and converts it into motion or mechanical work; for example, many protein-based molecular motors...

  • Nanomotor
    Nanomotor
    A nanomotor is a molecular device capable of converting energy into movement. It can typically generate forces on the order of piconewtons.A proposed branch of research is the integration of molecular motor proteins found in living cells into molecular motors implanted in artificial devices...

  • Electrostatic motor
    Electrostatic motor
    An electrostatic motor or capacitor motor is a type of electric motor based on the attraction and repulsion of electric charge.Often, electrostatic motors are the dual of conventional coil-based motors. They typically require a high voltage power supply, although very small motors employ lower...


Piezoelectric



A piezoelectric motor or piezo motor is a type of electric motor based upon the change in shape of a piezoelectric material
Piezoelectricity
Piezoelectricity is the charge which accumulates in certain solid materials in response to applied mechanical stress. The word piezoelectricity means electricity resulting from pressure...

 when an electric field
Electric field
In physics, an electric field surrounds electrically charged particles and time-varying magnetic fields. The electric field depicts the force exerted on other electrically charged objects by the electrically charged particle the field is surrounding...

 is applied. Piezoelectric motors make use of the converse piezoelectric effect whereby the material produces acoustic or ultrasonic
Ultrasonic motor
An ultrasonic motor is a type of electric motor powered by the ultrasonic vibration of a component, the stator, placedagainst another component, the rotor or slider depending on the scheme of operation...

 vibrations in order to produce a linear or rotary motion. In one mechanism, the elongation in a single plane is used to make a series stretches and position holds, similar to the way a caterpillar
Caterpillar
Caterpillars are the larval form of members of the order Lepidoptera . They are mostly herbivorous in food habit, although some species are insectivorous. Caterpillars are voracious feeders and many of them are considered to be pests in agriculture...

 moves.

Use and styles


Standardized electric motors are often used in many modern machines but specific types of electric motors are designed for particular applications.

Rotary


Uses include rotating machines such as fans, turbines, drills, the wheels on electric cars, locomotives and conveyor belts. Also, in many vibrating or oscillating machines, an electric motor spins an unbalanced mass, causing the motor (and its mounting structure) to vibrate. A familiar application is cell phone vibrating alerts used when the acoustic "ringer" is disabled by the user.

Electric motors are also popular in robotics. They turn the wheels of vehicular robots, and servo motors operate arms in industrial robots; they also move arms and legs in humanoid robots. In flying robots, along with helicopters, a motor rotates a propeller, or aerodynamic rotor blades to create controllable amounts of lift.

Electric motors are replacing hydraulic cylinders in airplanes and military equipment.

In industrial and manufacturing businesses, electric motors rotate saws and blades in cutting and slicing processes; they rotate parts being turned in lathes and other machine tools, and spin grinding wheels. Fast, precise servo motors position tools and work in modern CNC machine tools. Motor-driven mixers are very common in food manufacturing. Linear motors are often used to push products into containers horizontally.

Many kitchen appliances also use electric motors. Food processors and grinders spin blades to chop and break up foods. Blenders use electric motors to mix liquids, and microwave ovens use motors to turn the tray food that sits on. Toaster ovens also use electric motors to turn a conveyor to move food over heating elements.

Servo motor



A servomotor is a motor, very often sold as a complete module, which is used within a position-control or speed-control feedback control system. Servomotors are used in applications such as machine tools, pen plotters, and other control systems. Motors intended for use in a servomechanism must have well-documented characteristics for speed, torque, and power. The speed vs. torque curve is quite important. Dynamic response characteristics such as winding inductance and rotor inertia are also important; these factors limit the overall performance of the servomechanism loop. Large, powerful, but slow-responding servo loops may use conventional AC or DC motors and drive systems with position or speed feedback on the motor. As dynamic response requirements increase, more specialized motor designs such as coreless motors are used.

A servo system differs from some stepper motor applications in that the position feedback is continuous while the motor is running; a stepper system relies on the motor not to "miss steps" for short term accuracy, although a stepper system may include a "home" switch or other element to provide long-term stability of control. For instance, when an ink-jet computer printer starts up, its controller makes the print head stepper motor drive to its left-hand limit, where a position sensor defines home position and stops stepping. As long as power is on, a bidirectional counter in the printer's microprocessor keeps track of print-head position.

Linear motor



A linear motor is essentially any electric motor that has been "unrolled" so that, instead of producing a torque
Torque
Torque, moment or moment of force , is the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis, fulcrum, or pivot. Just as a force is a push or a pull, a torque can be thought of as a twist....

 (rotation), it produces a straight-line force along its length.

Linear motors are most commonly induction motors
Linear induction motor
A linear induction motor is an AC asynchronous linear motor that works by the same general principles as other induction motors but which has been designed to directly produce motion in a straight line....

 or stepper motors. Linear motors are commonly found in many roller-coasters where the rapid motion of the motorless railcar is controlled by the rail. They are also used in maglev
Maglev train
Maglev , is a system of transportation that uses magnetic levitation to suspend, guide and propel vehicles from magnets rather than using mechanical methods, such as friction-reliant wheels, axles and bearings...

 trains, where the train "flies" over the ground. On a smaller scale, at least one letter-size (8.5" x 11") computer graphics X-Y pen plotter made by Hewlett-Packard (in the late 1970s to mid-1980s) used two linear stepper motors to move the pen along the two orthogonal axes.

Spacecraft propulsive motors



An electrically powered spacecraft propulsion system is any of a number of forms of electric motors which spacecraft
Spacecraft
A spacecraft or spaceship is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo....

 can employ to gain mechanical energy in outer space
Outer space
Outer space is the void that exists between celestial bodies, including the Earth. It is not completely empty, but consists of a hard vacuum containing a low density of particles: predominantly a plasma of hydrogen and helium, as well as electromagnetic radiation, magnetic fields, and neutrinos....

. Most of these kinds of spacecraft propulsion
Spacecraft propulsion
Spacecraft propulsion is any method used to accelerate spacecraft and artificial satellites. There are many different methods. Each method has drawbacks and advantages, and spacecraft propulsion is an active area of research. However, most spacecraft today are propelled by forcing a gas from the...

 work by electrically powering propellant to high speed, but electrodynamic tether
Electrodynamic tether
Electrodynamic tethers are long conducting wires, such as one deployed from a tether satellite, which can operate on electromagnetic principles as generators, by converting their kinetic energy to electrical energy, or as motors, converting electrical energy to kinetic energy...

s work by interacting with a planet's magnetosphere.

Generator



Many electric motors are used as generators, either part (such as regenerative braking
Regenerative brake
A regenerative brake is an energy recovery mechanism which slows a vehicle or object down by converting its kinetic energy into another form, which can be either used immediately or stored until needed...

) or all of their operational life. When mechanically driven magnetic electric motors produce power due to their back EMF
Electromotive force
In physics, electromotive force, emf , or electromotance refers to voltage generated by a battery or by the magnetic force according to Faraday's Law, which states that a time varying magnetic field will induce an electric current.It is important to note that the electromotive "force" is not a...

.

Energy conversion by an electric motor


Using mathematical models in terms of a magnetic dipole, Ribarič and Šušteršič consider how in the case of the synchronous motor
Synchronous motor
A synchronous electric motor is an AC motor distinguished by a rotor spinning with coils passing magnets at the same rate as the power supply frequency and resulting rotating magnetic field which drives it....

 and induction motor
Induction motor
An induction or asynchronous motor is a type of AC motor where power is supplied to the rotor by means of electromagnetic induction. These motors are widely used in industrial drives, particularly polyphase induction motors, because they are robust and have no brushes...

 an external source is supplying electrical energy to the stator so as to maintain its revolving magnetic field; this energy is then transmitted by the revolving magnetic field to the magnetic dipole of the rotor; there it is converted into mechanical energy, and transmitted mechanically by the rotating shaft to an external user. On the other hand, in the case of a commutator
Commutator
In mathematics, the commutator gives an indication of the extent to which a certain binary operation fails to be commutative. There are different definitions used in group theory and ring theory.-Group theory:...

 motor, the external source delivers electrical energy directly to the rotor magnetic dipole for conversion into mechanical energy.

Power


The power output of a rotary electric motor is:
Where P is in horsepower, rpm is the shaft speed in revolutions per minute and T is the torque in foot pounds.

And for a linear motor:
Where P is the power in watts, and F is in Newtons and v is the speed in metres per second.

Efficiency


To calculate a motor's efficiency, the mechanical output power is divided by the electrical input power:
,
where is energy conversion efficiency
Energy conversion efficiency
Energy conversion efficiency is the ratio between the useful output of an energy conversion machine and the input, in energy terms. The useful output may be electric power, mechanical work, or heat.-Overview:...

, is electrical input power, and is mechanical output power.

In simplest case , and , where is input voltage, is input current, is output torque, and is output angular velocity. It is possible to derive analytically the point of maximum efficiency. It is typically at less than 1/2 the stall torque.

Torque capability of motor types


When optimally designed within a given core saturation constraint and for a given active current (i.e., torque current), voltage, pole-pair number, excitation frequency (i.e., synchronous speed), and air-gap flux density, all categories of electric motors or generators will exhibit virtually the same maximum continuous shaft torque (i.e., operating torque) within a given air-gap area with winding slots and back-iron depth, which determines the physical size of electromagnetic core. Some applications require bursts of torque beyond the maximum operating torque, such as short bursts of torque to accelerate an electric vehicle from standstill. Always limited by magnetic core saturation
Saturation (magnetic)
Seen in some magnetic materials, saturation is the state reached when an increase in applied external magnetizing field H cannot increase the magnetization of the material further, so the total magnetic field B levels off...

 or safe operating temperature
Operating temperature
An operating temperature is the temperature at which an electrical or mechanical device operates. The device will operate effectively within a specified temperature range which varies based on the device function and application context, and ranges from the minimum operating temperature to the...

 rise and voltage, the capacity for torque bursts beyond the maximum operating torque differs significantly between categories of electric motors or generators.

Capacity for bursts of torque should not be confused with field weakening capability inherent in fully electromagnetic electric machines (Permanent Magnet (PM) electric machine are excluded). Field weakening, which is not available with PM electric machines, allows an electric machine to operate beyond the designed frequency of excitation.

Electric machines without a transformer circuit topology, such as Field-Wound (i.e., electromagnet) or Permanent Magnet (PM) Synchronous electric machines cannot realize bursts of torque higher than the maximum designed torque without saturating the magnetic core and rendering any increase in current as useless. Furthermore, the permanent magnet assembly of PM synchronous electric machines can be irreparably damaged, if bursts of torque exceeding the maximum operating torque rating are attempted.

Electric machines with a transformer circuit topology, such as Induction (i.e., asynchronous) electric machines, Induction Doubly Fed electric machines, and Induction or Synchronous Wound-Rotor Doubly Fed (WRDF) electric machines, exhibit very high bursts of torque because the active current (i.e., Magneto-Motive-Force or the product of current and winding-turns) induced on either side of the transformer oppose each other and as a result, the active current contributes nothing to the transformer coupled magnetic core flux density, which would otherwise lead to core saturation.

Electric machines that rely on Induction or Asynchronous principles short-circuit one port of the transformer circuit and as a result, the reactive impedance of the transformer circuit becomes dominant as slip increases, which limits the magnitude of active (i.e., real) current. Still, bursts of torque that are two to three times higher than the maximum design torque are realizable.

The Synchronous WRDF electric machine is the only electric machine with a truly dual ported transformer circuit topology (i.e., both ports independently excited with no short-circuited port). The dual ported transformer circuit topology is known to be unstable and requires a multiphase slip-ring-brush assembly to propagate limited power to the rotor winding set. If a precision means were available to instantaneously control torque angle and slip for synchronous operation during motoring or generating while simultaneously providing brushless power to the rotor winding set (see Brushless wound-rotor doubly fed electric machine), the active current of the Synchronous WRDF electric machine would be independent of the reactive impedance of the transformer circuit and bursts of torque significantly higher than the maximum operating torque and far beyond the practical capability of any other type of electric machine would be realizable. Torque bursts greater than eight times operating torque have been calculated.

Continuous Torque Density


The continuous torque density of conventional electric machines is determined by the size of the air-gap area and the back-iron depth, which are determined by the power rating of the armature winding set, the speed of the machine, and the achievable air-gap flux density before core saturation. Despite the high coercivity of neodymium or samarium-cobalt permanent magnets, continuous torque density is virtually the same amongst electric machines with optimally designed armature winding sets. Continuous torque density should never be confused with peak torque density, which comes with the manufacturer's chosen method of cooling, which is available to all, or period of operation before destruction by overheating of windings or even permanent magnet damage.

Continuous Power Density


The continuous power density is determined by the product of the continuous torque density and the constant torque speed range of the electric machine.

Motor standards


The following are major design and manufacturing standards covering electric motors:
  • International Electrotechnical Commission
    International Electrotechnical Commission
    The International Electrotechnical Commission is a non-profit, non-governmental international standards organization that prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies – collectively known as "electrotechnology"...

    : IEC 60034 Rotating Electrical Machines
  • National Electrical Manufacturers Association
    National Electrical Manufacturers Association
    is the association of electrical and medical imaging equipment manufacturers. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its approximately manufacture products used in the generation, transmission, distribution, control, and end use of electricity. These products are used in utility,...

     (USA): NEMA MG 1 Motors and Generators
  • Underwriters Laboratories
    Underwriters Laboratories
    Underwriters Laboratories Inc. is an independent product safety certification organization. Established in 1894, the company has its headquarters in Northbrook, Illinois. UL develops standards and test procedures for products, materials, components, assemblies, tools and equipment, chiefly dealing...

     (USA): UL 1004 - Standard for Electric Motors


See also


Motor control:
  • Adjustable-speed drive
  • Electronic speed control
    Electronic speed control
    An electronic speed control or ESC is an electronic circuit with the purpose to vary an electric motor's speed, its direction and possibly also to act as a dynamic brake...

  • Motor controller
    Motor controller
    A motor controller is a device or group of devices that serves to govern in some predetermined manner the performance of an electric motor. A motor controller might include a manual or automatic means for starting and stopping the motor, selecting forward or reverse rotation, selecting and...

  • Motor protection relay
  • Motor soft starter
    Motor soft starter
    A motor soft starter is a device used with AC electric motors to temporarily reduce the load and torque in the powertrain of the motor during startup...

  • Thyristor drive
    Thyristor drive
    A thyristor drive is a motor drive circuit where AC supply current is regulated by a thyristor phase control to provide variable voltage to a DC motor.-Applications:Thyristor drives are very simple and were first introduced in the 1960s...

  • Torque and speed of a DC motor
    Torque and speed of a DC motor
    The torque and torque density of an electric motor is not necessarily dependent on its speed. It is rather a function of flux and armature current.-Effects:Increase in flux decreases the speed but increases the torque...

  • Variable-frequency drive

Components:
  • Centrifugal switch
    Centrifugal switch
    A centrifugal switch is an electric switch that operates using the centrifugal force created from a rotating shaft, most commonly that of an electric motor or gasoline engine. The switch is designed to activate or de-activate as a function of the rotational speed of the shaft.Perhaps the most...

  • Commutator (electric)
    Commutator (electric)
    A commutator is a rotary electrical switch in certain types of electric motors or electrical generators that periodically reverses the current direction between the rotor and the external circuit. In a motor, it applies power to the best location on the rotor, and in a generator, picks off power...

  • Slip ring
    Slip ring
    A slip ring is a method of making an electrical connection through a rotating assembly. Slip rings, also called rotary electrical interfaces, rotating electrical connectors, collectors, swivels, or electrical rotary joints, are commonly found in electric motors, electrical generators for AC...



Scientists and engineers:
  • Charles Proteus Steinmetz
    Charles Proteus Steinmetz
    Charles Proteus Steinmetz was a German-American mathematician and electrical engineer. He fostered the development of alternating current that made possible the expansion of the electric power industry in the United States, formulating mathematical theories for engineers...

  • Giuseppe Domenico Botto
    Giuseppe Domenico Botto
    Giuseppe Domenico Botto was an Italian physicist.Born at Moneglia, He studied at the University of Genoa and the École Polytechnique in Paris. The chair of General and Experimental Physics was assigned to G.D Botto in 1828...

  • Miksa Déri
    Miksa Déri
    Miksa Déri was a Hungarian electrical engineer. He was, with his partners Károly Zipernowsky and Ottó Bláthy, co-inventor of the closed iron core transformer and the ZBD model AC electrical generator....

  • Nikola Tesla
    Nikola Tesla
    Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor, mechanical engineer, and electrical engineer...

  • Ottó Bláthy
    Ottó Bláthy
    Ottó Titusz Bláthy was a Hungarian electrical engineer. In his career, he became the co-inventor of the modern electric transformer, the tension regulator, , the AC watt-hour meter, the single-phase alternating current electric motor, the turbo generator, and the high efficiency turbo...


Related subjects:
  • Balancing machine
    Balancing Machine
    A balancing machine is a measuring tool used for balancing rotating machine parts such as rotors for electric motors, fans, turbines, disc brakes, disc drives, propellers and pumps. The machine usually consists of two rigid pedestals, with suspension and bearings on top supporting a mounting...

  • Electrical engineering
    Electrical engineering
    Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism. The field first became an identifiable occupation in the late nineteenth century after commercialization of the electric telegraph and electrical...

  • Electrically powered spacecraft propulsion
  • Polyphase system
    Polyphase system
    A polyphase system is a means of distributing alternating current electrical power. Polyphase systems have three or more energized electrical conductors carrying alternating currents with a definite time offset between the voltage waves in each conductor. Polyphase systems are particularly useful...

  • Power factor
    Power factor
    The power factor of an AC electric power system is defined as the ratio of the real power flowing to the load over the apparent power in the circuit, and is a dimensionless number between 0 and 1 . Real power is the capacity of the circuit for performing work in a particular time...

  • Power-to-weight ratio
    Power-to-weight ratio
    Power-to-weight ratio is a calculation commonly applied to engines and mobile power sources to enable the comparison of one unit or design to another. Power-to-weight ratio is a measurement of actual performance of any engine or power sources...

  • Timeline of motor and engine technology
    Timeline of motor and engine technology
    Timeline of motor and engine technology* – Hero of Alexandria describes the first documented steam-powered device, the aeolipile.* 1698 – Thomas Savery builds a steam-powered water pump for pumping water out of mines....

  • Traction motor
    Traction motor
    Traction motor refers to an electric motor providing the primary rotational torque of a machine, usually for conversion into linear motion ....





External links